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Nchan
Nchan

2
2
+ 1
0
Socket.IO
Socket.IO

3.3K
2.1K
+ 1
678
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Nchan vs Socket.IO: What are the differences?

What is Nchan? A scalable, flexible pub/sub server for the modern web. It is built as a module for the Nginx web server. It can be configured as a standalone server, or as a shim between your application and hundreds, thousands, or millions of live subscribers. It can buffer messages in memory, on-disk, or via Redis.

What is Socket.IO? Realtime application framework (Node.JS server). Socket.IO enables real-time bidirectional event-based communication. It works on every platform, browser or device, focusing equally on reliability and speed.

Nchan and Socket.IO belong to "Realtime Backend / API" category of the tech stack.

Some of the features offered by Nchan are:

  • flexible pub/sub server
  • Horizontally scalable (using Redis)
  • Subscribe to hundreds of channels over a single subscriber connection.

On the other hand, Socket.IO provides the following key features:

  • Real-time analytics - Push data to clients that gets represented as real-time counters, charts or logs.
  • Binary streaming - Starting in 1.0, it's possible to send any blob back and forth: image, audio, video.
  • Instant messaging and chat - Socket.IO's "Hello world" is a chat app in just a few lines of code.

Nchan and Socket.IO are both open source tools. It seems that Socket.IO with 47.1K GitHub stars and 8.59K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Nchan with 2.35K GitHub stars and 243 GitHub forks.

What is Nchan?

It is built as a module for the Nginx web server. It can be configured as a standalone server, or as a shim between your application and hundreds, thousands, or millions of live subscribers. It can buffer messages in memory, on-disk, or via Redis.

What is Socket.IO?

It enables real-time bidirectional event-based communication. It works on every platform, browser or device, focusing equally on reliability and speed.
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      What are some alternatives to Nchan and Socket.IO?
      Pushpin
      Pushpin is a reverse proxy server that makes it easy to build realtime web services. The project is unique among realtime push solutions in that it is designed to address the needs of API creators.
      Firebase
      Firebase is a cloud service designed to power real-time, collaborative applications. Simply add the Firebase library to your application to gain access to a shared data structure; any changes you make to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds.
      Pusher
      Pusher is the category leader in delightful APIs for app developers building communication and collaboration features.
      Google Cloud Pub/Sub
      Cloud Pub/Sub is a fully-managed real-time messaging service that allows you to send and receive messages between independent applications. You can leverage Cloud Pub/Sub’s flexibility to decouple systems and components hosted on Google Cloud Platform or elsewhere on the Internet.
      SignalR
      SignalR allows bi-directional communication between server and client. Servers can now push content to connected clients instantly as it becomes available. SignalR supports Web Sockets, and falls back to other compatible techniques for older browsers. SignalR includes APIs for connection management (for instance, connect and disconnect events), grouping connections, and authorization.
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      Decisions about Nchan and Socket.IO
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      How developers use Nchan and Socket.IO
      Avatar of Tony Manso
      Tony Manso uses Socket.IOSocket.IO

      I use Socket.IO because using HTTP requests for a real-time multiplayer game just blows! Even with websockets, I had to scrunch the data being transmitted down to a bare minimum, and do some cheap compression tricks so that I can send data in JSON format. Otherwise, I would have to resort to sending binary data. I may end up doing that anyway when the time comes that I need to scale.

      How do I use it? Each client opens a socket connection at startup. The server keeps track of these connections, and sends each client the visible portion of the Playfield repeatedly. The clients render this information, while sending requests and commands to the server (join,turn,fire,thrust,bomb,viewport change,etc.) in response to the player's actions. The server uses that to make adjustments to the player's ship on the Playfield.

      Avatar of Trello
      Trello uses Socket.IOSocket.IO

      Where we have browser support (recent Chrome, Firefox, and Safari), we make a WebSocket connection so that the server can push changes made by other people down to browsers listening on the appropriate channels. We use a modified version* of the Socket.io client and server libraries that allows us to keep many thousands of open WebSockets on each of our servers at very little cost in terms of CPU or memory usage. So when anything happens to a board you’re watching, that action is published to our server processes and propagated to your watching browser with very minimal latency, usually well under a second.

      Avatar of Kent Steiner
      Kent Steiner uses Socket.IOSocket.IO

      Socket.IO has a decent community footprint, including integrations with popular JS frameworks, and has fallbacks to maintain an app's services if websockets are not available for some reason. Websockets are an important factor in most of the web-facing apps I build, to provide asynchronous two-way communication between the app and whatever server or data source it is connected to.

      Avatar of Andrew Gatenby
      Andrew Gatenby uses Socket.IOSocket.IO

      Another one that we're not using, yet. But have realtime data updates within our applications and the central API will be a great bit of functionality that gives our clients more control and keep them informed of changes and updates in their stores, in real time.

      Avatar of AngeloR
      AngeloR uses Socket.IOSocket.IO

      Socket.io is used as our current multiplayer engine. The existing engine is very simplistic and only utilizes the websocket+http fallback transports and serves as a generic world/zone/screen grouping mechanism for displaying users to each other.

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